Looking Back at Our First Board Meeting

By Kate Andrews, ChildFund Staff Writer

The first board meeting of China’s Children Fund (the precursor to Christian Children’s Fund and ChildFund International) took place on Dec. 9, 1938, at a private dining room in the Occidental Restaurant, in downtown Richmond, Va.  At the time, CCF already had an office on Main Street.

Occidental Restaurant

The Occidental Restaurant, where China’s Children Fund board members held their first meeting. Courtesy Library of Virginia.

In attendance were a group of distinguished Virginians, including CCF’s first board president, Eudora Ramsay Richardson, and its secretary, T. Nelson Parker. Richardson served as president until 1944, when she was replaced on the board by future CEO Verbon Kemp. Parker was board president for nearly 30 years.

The first year of CCF’s existence was phenomenally successful. At the second board meeting in February 1939, our founder, Dr. Calvitt Clarke, recommended an initial contribution of $2,000 to Chinese orphans’ relief. This goal was quickly eclipsed, with $13,000 going to the KuKong Orphanage and other funds sent directly to Madame Chiang Kai-shek, who also was assisting orphans.

CCF's 1967 board

A 1967 board meeting. Seated fourth from the left is Executive Director Verbon Kemp and to his left, at the head of the table, is Chairman T. Nelson Parker.

ChildFund’s board of directors now meets several times a year to discuss the direction of our organization. During their last meeting, in October, we celebrated ChildFund’s 75th anniversary with a luncheon

75th celebration

Current board members and staff gather for a celebratory 75th anniversary lunch this past October at ChildFund’s International Office in Richmond, Va.

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